Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Return (Rehash) of Shwampnuts, Or, Steak Burrito For Breakfast...

(Now that my favorite Mexican Food joint in Miami has 'Steak Burritos', I'd like to re-run my homage to their glorious food and to my pet food-taster. Enjoy.)
(For Holiday Cocktail Recipes, inspired by the Miami Herald's 'Car Bomb' for St. Patrick's Day, please go to www.PressChops.com )


I love Mexican food. I love fresh tacos al carbon, and I love huevos rancheros, and I love a nice soft burrito, filled with tasty ingredients. I'll travel far and wide for that. So you can imagine how shocked I was that this neighborhood eatery, just a few blocks from my home, was serving a special burrito, only available in the morning, filled with all my favorite ingredients. Turns out all of their ingredients are sourced, all of their meat is USDA-inspected, and all of their help is local. No tipping allowed (take that, evil corporate Starbucks), and you can stay as long as you want. I couldn't believe, when I chatted with their spokesperson, (and by chatted, I mean looked it up on the website), that all of their chickens and cows are fed right up until almost the moment they are slaughtered, to keep them happy. Happy pigs make better sausage, they say. Although you probably don't want to watch THAT. Gross.


I passed by a worker with one arm, and thought to myself, in the land of the blind, he'd be king. But here, he was just comically trying to get a broom around an errant napkin. Imagine my delight, eleven minutes later (that's how long it took to get my food), when I passed him again on the way to my booth, and he was down on his knees trying to grab the napkin with his teeth. I applauded his efforts. And then I looked down and beheld my treasure, like a pirate looking down and beholding a he-she named Shwampnuts. It was a little greasy, like Shwampnuts, and it smelled like a pygmy's foreskin. Heaven, dear boy. I hesitated to unwrap it, so that I could prolong the magic of the moment, but then 'lefty' came over and asked if I wanted him to clean off the table. No thank you, I replied, I'm actually enjoying the previous thirty or so customers' built-up spittle, drool, eye-boogers, snot, and hair-grease ( a lot of customers here eat with their heads on the table, it seems). And anyway, the stickiness was holding my napkins in place (the air-conditioning was blowing hard like, well, Shwampnuts).


I shooed the flies away and began conquering my burrito like Vasco de Gama conquered Mrs. De Gama, and let me tell you: whatever clown makes these luscious loads of bowel-knotting tent-poles must be from outer space, because there is no way anyone who puts together a burrito like this is human. I never ate anything faster, or with more delight and revulsion. I was being naughty. Nasty, even. Yeah, nasty works. I couldn't finish it all, because it was too perfect, and you always want to leave wanting more, wishing for more. As a great Miami restaurant critic once said, long ago, I could eat that burrito for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and then make love to it later that night, when we're alone.


I left half the thing on the table, and nodded over at a half-asleep dishwasher. As we used to say in the food-biz, Hey Chazz, why don't you clean the enclosure? That's what we called the dining room. Fancy, huh? I meant it as code for my fellow restaurant-tooer, the dishwasher, that he could finish my meal, I hadn't dropped it on the floor or anything. He made a bee-line for the table just barely beating out the one-armed sweeper who licked his lips at his tragic loss, and absent-mindedly scratched his stump, while Speedy swallowed the remains in one gulp, like a hunk of raw tuna sashimi, sans the mercury.


It was then that I waved goodbye to the cheery staff of this arched establishment, and laid a blessing on them. “Like Shwampnuts' showers, may all of your meals here be golden.”




Actual Ripped-Out Ad


Mouth-Watering Actual Photo From Actual Ripped-Out Ad Containing Close-Up of 'Food'

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